I teach a memoir writing workshop called Writing Your Memoir from Pictures. Participants look at old family photos, old newspaper stories, old ads to bring their minds back to their past. From there they start writing part of their memoir, perhaps even the beginning.
A variation of this could be done to get you going writing fiction or to help you create a scene in your story.
Let’s consider a photo of a family member or friend – whether in print or digital. Or even a photo posted online of someone you don’t know. Maybe you are having a hard time visualizing what your character looks like. Or maybe you have some idea but are having problems describing the character. Looking at a picture can trigger some ideas. I’m not saying you should make your character an exact copy, but images can get ideas swirling.
If your story is set in the not-too-distant past, maybe up to 150 years ago, old newspaper photographs, and ads especially can help you get ideas of how society lived at that time. Sure, newspaper stories back then, can tell you that. However, just looking at pictures and letting your mind absorb them, can help you create that scene in a town set in the 1950s or during one of the world wars or another time – whatever your story dictates.
Picture it and let your mind absorb. Then let your imagination loose.
You know what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words.
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